N.C. State finished the 2010 season on a high note defeating No. 22 ranked West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl. The Wolfpack ended 2010 ranked No. 25 in both polls and enter the 2011 season with confidence but also concern knowing that they have to replace their offensive leader from last season due to quarterback Russell Wilson's departure from the program. Wilson was big in last season's 45-28 victory over the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta throwing for a career high 368 yards and three touchdowns. A quick glance at the 2011 schedule shows that those same Yellow Jackets may be all that is standing between N.C. State and a 6-0 start to the season.
A Closer Look At The Wolfpack
Coach: Tom O'Brien
Last Season: 9-4, 5-3 ACC Atlantic
Returning Starters: 14 (six offense, eight defense)
Key Players: QB Mike Glennon, TE George Bryan, DT J.R. Sweezy
The biggest question mark for N.C. State this season will be whether or not junior quarterback Mike Glennon can adequately replace Wilson under center. Glennon was a big time recruit coming out of high school but has played sparingly in his two seasons with the Wolfpack. Glennon is expected to lean hard on TE George Bryan in the passing game.
Defensively, N.C. State hopes to once again crank up the pressure, play fast, and hope for improvement from within in the secondary. The defensive line is anchored by DT J.R. Sweezy who was an honorable mention All-ACC last season after finishing the year with 46 tackles and six sacks. The linebackers are solid and the one real question lies in the secondary. The secondary is experienced this season and coach O'Brien will be looking for much improvement from this group.